Chevrolet to pull out of Europe

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General Motors has announced plans to largely withdraw the Chevrolet brand from the European market by 2016, citing the "difficult economic situation" on the continent.

GM instead plans to concentrate on marketing its German-made Opel vehicles and its British sister brand Vauxhall, and in coming years push its luxury Cadillac models in Europe.

The Opel brand is struggling at the moment and there's little doubt that GM feels it can no longer afford to cannibalise these products by offering more affordable Chevrolet alternative.

"The company's Chevrolet brand will no longer have a mainstream presence in Western and Eastern Europe, largely due to a challenging business model and the difficult economic situation in Europe," GM said in a statement.

From 2016, GM will sell only iconic Chevrolet models such as the Corvette in Western Europe, while it will keep selling the mainstream Chevrolet models in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), a group of former Soviet countries.

The restructuring will "improve the Opel and Vauxhall brands and reduce the market complexity associated with having Opel and Chevrolet in Western and Eastern Europe," GM said.

Chevrolet Europe president and managing director Thomas Sedran assured customers that GM will continue to provide warranty, parts and services for Chevrolet vehicles bought until the end of 2015. -AFP & IOL

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